Picnic Paths

Do you look at the world from a cosmic perspective? Want to study the history of our planet? Are you worried about climate change? Are you looking for scientific entertainment for children? At the 21st Science Picnic you will find a variety of attractions. Here are 9 thematic paths that can help you choose your own touring route.

Looking down at Earth. The planet seen from outer space.

When we say "earth", we mean the ground beneath our feet. However, if we look at our planet from a distance with the help of the Satellite Environment Control of Baltic Sea Consortium (tent E5), we will see how much of earth’s surface is occupied by oceans. We will find out what role is played by huge masses of water and how we observe them from outer space. Satellite observations, however, are not just ocean studies. What does an emerging typhoon look like? How can we predict an upcoming drought or flood? The Institute of Geodesy and Cartography (tent C26) will show us how natural disasters are forecasted using satellite data. Experts from the Central Office of Measures and the Polish Space Agency (tent A10) will tell us about the future of Poland in space and about the new trends in satellite measurements.

Taken from the earth. Geology, mining and minerals.

Where does fuel for our cars come from? How do we use global resources? How has geological knowledge and mining technology changed? Our guests from The Faculty of Drilling Oil and Gas at the University of Science and Technology in Cracow (tent A1) will tell us about the road from the fossil to the fuel tank. You will be able to see the difference between various oil fractions and what each one is used for. Nature can also transform fossils, as will be demonstrated by researchers from the Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (tent A8). We will trace the cycle linking a grain of sand, with a crystal and a rock. The Geological Museum of the National Research Institute (tent C29) will teach us how to identify the different types of rocks and how to measure the hardness of various materials.

A global village. Communication.

Is it true that in the twentieth century the Earth has shrunk? Only if we look at our planet from the perspective of communication. Until recently, traveling between cities required a few days. Today, even a trip to the Antipodes takes less time. Together with the On-board Electronics for Spacecraft Research Team (tent C8), we will see how telecommunications equipment is being designed on satellites and how long it takes for a message to be sent to the other side of the Earth. In telecommunications, distance in not only the length between two points, but also the form of transmission. Thanks to the Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences (tent E12) you will see how you can write with your eyes – only by blinking. And if you want to practice your German, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany (tent A39) invites you to a discussion about the climate and energetics in our region of Europe.

Such a climate. The climate and weather on Earth.

Are weather and climate one and the same? How are rains and clouds formed? The basics of meteorological phenomena will be demonstrated by the Regional Science and Technology Center (tent E3). You will be able to see for yourself the use and effects of carbon dioxide. Together with the physicists from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw (tent C23) we will try to match the effects with the causes, and learn more about the anthropogenic climate changes. We will also see why the increasingly warmer summers are causing serious problems for Poland. And we will learn how water and glaciers create weather and climate by watching the simulations and demonstrations prepared by the Centre for Polar Studies (tent C27).

Fossilized history. Paleontology and paleobiology.

Earth is older than humanity. What did the animals that became extinct before we were born look like? How do we know when and where mammoths lived? Thanks to the PAS Museum of the Earth (tent F10) we will see the skull of a mammoth that once wandered through our lands. Holographic technology will allow us to see how the animal looked "in its entirety." We will see a unique documentary filmed "live". We will be able to trace the path of a valuable palaeontological finding from its discovery to the first exposition. We will see the joints and jaw of a mammoth, the skull of a woolly rhinoceros and other parts of the ice age mammals. The Museum of Evolution of the PAS Institute of Paleobiology (tent C29) will demonstrate how fossils are prepared to be used in scientific research and museums. Experts from the Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection at the University of Science and Technology (tent A1) will explain to us how a piece of a mammal can become a piece of rock.

Earth, the human planet. Residents of the Earth.

Perhaps the third planet from the Sun is the only place where intelligent beings live. Thanks to the PAS Institute of Psychology (tent F6) you will be able to see how people treat the environment in which they live. Together with the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Warsaw (tent B18) we will examine how many different cultures mix together at the stadium during the Science Picnic. The PAS Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures (tent B15) will take us on further cultural adventures. As part of a meeting with archaeologists and orientalists we will examine the traces left by various cultures. We will also hear about the latest discoveries of Polish scientists.

Life on earth. Biology and medicine.

It started so innocently. A small life form became stronger and stronger, and it was downhill from there! What happened to vertebrates after that? How did life on earth evolve? Researchers from the Faculty of Biology at the University of Warsaw (tent D22) will tell us about the first spines and how they were formed. Thanks to experts from the Duchess Anna Mazowiecka Clinical Hospital (tent D32), we will learn about the structure of the human body. We will also examine which human evolutionary acquisitions are the most problematic today. How technology is helping solve medical problems? The Medtronic Education Centre (tent F3) will present its innovations. We will be able to see how artificial valves help solve the problems of patients, physicians, and evolution.

User’s guide. Attractions for children.

It is not easy to be an Earthling. So for the youngest inhabitants of our planet we have prepared a separate course so that they will be able to deal with planet Earth once we are gone. To begin with, the Faculty of Mining and Geoengineering at the University of Science and Technology (tent A1) will teach us how to recognise different types of rocks and we will learn the foundations of science. After exercising our brains it is time for agility training with the University of Physical Education (tent A30), where children will be able to test their jumping skills, coordination and measure their body proportions. Finally, we will also take care of our spiritual needs - together with the National Museum (tent A23).

Change to preserve. Biotechnology in the service of the planet.

Over the last 50 years we have witnessed a breakthrough in our knowledge of biology. We learned not only how to distinguish the various components of cells, but also to deliberately modify them. This is how biological sciences created biotechnology. How does life look in a biotechnology lab? The Warsaw Society of Biotechnology, "Symbiosis" (tent E6) will demonstrate it for us. Members of the Scientific Circle of Biotechnologists at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (tent D12) will talk about working with plants. Together with them we will see how the structure of the plant changes in successive phases of growth. Biotechnology focuses on the molecular structure of a given organism. The Faculty of Biology at the University of Warsaw (tent D22) will prove that small can be great. At least in terms of complexity and research challenges.